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Top 30 Seasons Under Bill Self: #8 Devon Dotson 2020

Kansas v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

When discussing Sherron Collins’s great 2009 season, I made the case that he paved the way for the shoot first point guards who came after him. Nowhere was that more prevalent than with Devon Dotson this season.

Dotson led the Big 12 in scoring at 18.1 points per game, and also led the league in steals with 63, the only time in league history a player has led in both categories. He also led the Big 12 in win shares and was 2nd in box plus minus. Since the stat started, his 2020 box plus minus is the 2nd highest mark recorded at Kansas.

Dotson scored in the single digits this season just once, and that was when he was forced to miss nearly half the game in the loss to Baylor. He was the KenPom MVP in 12 of the team’s 31 games, quite the feat when you consider who else was on the team.

His magnum opus was the Maui Invitational title game, where Kansas defeated Dayton in overtime. Dotson scored 31 points on just 16 field goal attempts, and added 4 assists and 5 steals, but he was a solidly consistent player over the course of the entire season for the Jayhawks.

Dotson finished 2020 2nd in the KenPom player of the year standings thanks to a relentless attack on both ends of the floor. He became the first player in Big 12 history to lead the league in both scoring and steals, and he also had a turnover rate of under 16 percent. Not only is Dotson’s box plus minus 2nd best ever for a point guard under Self, his usage rate is third highest behind only Sherron Collins in 09 and Tyshawn Taylor in 2012. Truth be told, I thought it would be a lot higher given how many possessions ended with him taking the ball to the rim, but nonetheless Dotson was a key driver of the offense and was maybe the toughest guy on the perimeter in all of college basketball to stay in front of last season.

Dotson’s one hole in his game was the lack of an outside shot, as he shot just over 30 percent from three, but given his free throw shooting (83 percent) and the fact he was suffering from a bad hip for most of the season, I am confident in saying I expect his 3-point percentage to go up as a professional. He and Tyshawn are the only point guards under Self to post usage rates above 26 percent and shoot over 50 percent from two (I am starting to think I underrated Tyshawn on this list), and Dotson is the best scorer at the rim in Hoop-Math’s database among KU point guards at a whopping 64.8 percent. For comparison’s sake, Mason was at 56 percent in his national player of the year season, and that’s higher than Perry Ellis ever shot at the rim in his career.

Dotson was an elite scorer, an elite on ball defender, and a very good passer who also took care of the ball. Kansas was roughly average nationally in the turnover department, but ranked 3rd in Big 12 play, which was a huge reason why they were able to lead the Big 12 in offense. His ball hawking on defense, ranking 4th in the Big 12 in steal rate, is a big reason why Kansas also led the Big 12 in defense. It’s fitting he comes right after Chalmers in this list because no KU point guard has ever been better on both ends of the floor than these two. Chalmers led the Jayhawks to a national title and, but for a worldwide pandemic, Dotson would have done the same. He’ll certainly go up in the rafters anyway, and he belongs there just as much as he belongs in the top 10 of this list.

Previous entries:

9. Mario Chalmers 2008

10. Sherron Collins 2009

11. Perry Ellis 2016

12. Dedric Lawson 2019

13. Jeff Withey 2012

14. Tyshawn Taylor 2012

15. Brandon Rush 2008

16. Joel Embiid 2014

17. Sherron Collins 2010

18. Darrell Arthur 2008

19. Cole Aldrich 2010

20. Ben McLemore 2013

21. Markieff Morris 2011

22. Andrew Wiggins 2014

23. Jeff Withey 2013

24. Josh Jackson 2017

25. Marcus Garrett 2020

26. Travis Releford 2013

27. Perry Ellis 2015

28. Udoka Azubuike 2018

29. Wayne Simien 2004

30. Devonte Graham 2017

31. Malik Newman 2018

32. Wayne Selden 2016

33. Keith Langford 2004